MEERUT: Sixteen-year-old Saharanpur girl Harshita Arora‘s app that updates users about price fluctuations in more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies in 32 countries has become one of the most sought-after paid apps on Apple’s App Store. What’s more, she launched it only on January 28 this year.
Daughter of a local financier and a homemaker mother, Harshita, who dropped out of school at 14 as she was “not cut out for common courses”, told TOI on Friday that she had her “fundamentals” very clear from the beginning. “I don’t underestimate school education in India but these common courses are not for me. My computer teacher introduced me to the wonderful world of technology. I have a different goal in life that the current education system may not provide. I am being home schooled. Computer technology must be given its due in school curriculum”.
The first time she heard about cryptocurrencies was in 2016. She soon got into Bitcoin mining, the basic underlying technology and cryptography. Not that the sudden stardom has come easy. When Harshita introduced the iOS app, she was at the receiving end of a lot of cynicism, with some doubting that a girl of her age could build an iOS platform like that and others accusing her of plagiarizing the app.
All that is behind her now. “Ever since I was 13 and was introduced to designing concepts, I began reading IT magazines and the latest developments in the field. I learned about cryptocurrency and how it worked. Then I interacted with my internet friends and real investors in the currency to understand what they wanted in an app”, Harshita said.
She attended MIT Launch (a high school entrepreneur programme) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US some time back, which she said helped her a lot. This was a four-week long entrepreneurship programme for people between 15 and 19 years of age. “I met like-minded people who helped me build this app”, Harshita said.
Gericke Potgieper, managing director of Artifex Knowledge, a firm that provides technology based business solutions, who has been mentoring Harshita, said, “She is full of energy that she draws from her passion for solving problems and generating ideas in IT. She has this impeccable propensity to learn very fast. I can predict that she will go places”.
Midhun V Manikkath, her former school teacher who introduced her to computer programming, said, “I had the pleasure of teaching Harshita in class VIII at Pinewood School in Saharanpur. She always impressed me with her thoughts which she brought to the field of computing”.
Harshita now has plans to move to America to broaden her horizons. “In June I will move to the US and eventually establish myself as an entrepreneur launching startups. Currently, I am working on a new app, Snap Food. It will aim at providing exhaustive information on a particular food item”, she said.
The teenager has the full support of her family. “My daughter is my true inspiration. She is a highly focused child full of confidence”, said her father Ravinder Singh Arora.